Valentine’s Day began for me with an early-morning text from my boss: “DARE. Mag red tshirt tayo 2day.” Half-awake and squinting at my cellphone screen, I smiled, amused at yet another crazy idea from my cool boss (who regularly checks the hilarious “horoscope” section of Libre, which contains nothing remotely astrological except the birth signs). I dragged myself out of bed, grabbed the towel hanging on my closet door, and sleep-walked to the bathroom. Just an ordinary day.
Even before cold bathwater could exorcise sleepiness out of my system, I had already decided that there’s no way I would wear red today—not even if it meant getting a raise. (Well, on second thought…. Hehe.) I would instead put on my orange polo, which is so bright you’d think it glows in the dark. (Interestingly, friends think it’s too orange they’re dying to paint a big “P” on its back. Tsk, no wonder the shirt was on sale.)
As I was ironing my orange polo, I thought of a friend who, for the first time in five years, would be spending Valentine’s without a significant other. The last time we chatted, he seemed uncomfortable with the idea. Although I tried, I could not comprehend his discomfort. Nevetheless, I still offered to give him V-Day survival tips. Sample tip: Keep all sharp objects far from arm’s reach along with photos of ex-girlfriends. And, yes: Don’t wear red. Then I thought of me: twenty-six and still no significant other on Valentine’s—since birth. Ouch! Flat iron too hot.
With dark glasses snuggly perched and my MP3 player (which is also my trusty handheld) dutifully numbing me from the harrassment of morning rush hour, I was ready to face the day. I half-expected to be drowned in a sea of red as I stepped out of the house and joined the crowd of commuters, but i was disappointed. Except for a handful of pa-cute teenagers and some adventurous middle-agers, everyone else had decided against wearing red, like I had. Rose vendors lined the sidewalk. I was definitely not their target market. Although, for a fleeting moment there, it did pass my mind to buy someone a rose. Who? Ahem. ‘Nuff said.
The day was a typical Monday for me. Crazy. My desk was littered with paper, each sheet representing a decision nagging to be made. My inbox tray was swollen and my To-Do list long. New email messages heralded new tasks. Team meeting after lunch. Travel arrangements to be made. Too much to do, so little time. No time for love. Ooops.
Finally, the clock struck six; that meant the official end of another work day for me. A co-worker wearing a red shirt (a brave soul, indeed) slid to my side and animatedly recounted an amusing personal anecdote. The tale seemed to me the awkward beginnings of a love story. (She won’t admit it, of course.) I thought to myself, maybe it’s the air. Or maybe it’s the color of her shirt. And then I realized it had been ages since I last felt the flutters of infatuation. I made a mental note: One should never outgrow romance.
I had dinner at the nearby (boring) mall with red girl and another officemate who was wearing a blue blouse. (If you saw them walking side by side—red girl and blue girl—you’d think it was Independence Day, not Valentine’s!) Most other guys around me at the mall had only one date. Me, I had two lovely ladies eating and laughing with me—and, yes, pestering me with love-life questions! Not a bad way to spend Valentine’s, I thought to myself. Not bad, indeed.
Honestly, in my sane moments, I don’t mind being single. At least for now. I feel there’s still a lot more I need to work on—character-wise—before I can confidently and wisely plunge into a romantic relationship. I sure hope that when God, in His infinitely-wise timing, finally prompts this heart to gallantly pursue another, I will be ready.
And maybe one Valentine’s Day, with or without a dare, I won’t mind wearing red. I have a feeling she won’t mind either. Ya-hoo!